Camping, Cakes and Creating Moments

Happy New Year!

It was the year of zero blogging, yet quite a lot of adventures down unexplored paths. Just no time for writing about it.

  These paths led us into nature from the comforts of “The Traveling Pear Pod”, aka a Forest River Rpod.  The Chef took a path into baking that led to our small kitchen being covered with fondant, buttercream and gum paste for days which morphed into a new side business called Shaws Cakes and Confections.    Finally, we took paths that led us to create unforgettable moments for this little family of three, most of which weren’t documented by a camera.

Time just doesn’t permit me to blog daily, or even monthly like I once did.  Those were the days before parenthood and daily routines with a four year old.  While I sometimes long for all that time to write, it’s not what my soul craves at the moment. Until the path leads us in a direction where blogging picks up again, here’s The Traveling Pear’s Year of 2019…

Camping, Cakes and Creating Moments

machester california beach

Manchester Beach, California

camping with rpod California

A campsite at Eastman Lake, California. Our first time dry camping.

machester beach california

Manchester Beach, California

campfire

casini ranch California

Russian River at Casini Ranch

Hwy 1 California Pacific Coast

Somewhere along Route 1

Armstrong National Park

Armstrong Redwoods

Shell Beach California

Shell Beach, California

 

Shell Beach California

Shell Beach, California

 

Princess and Frog Cake

Princess Tiana Cake

The Greatest Showman Cake

The Greatest Showman Cake

bumblebee cake

Persian Love Cake

Persian Love Cake

 

shell beach

Kitty

Said goodbye to Kitty after 19 years.

 

photo credit: Landrum Studios

 

Happy New Year 2020 and Happy 9th Blog Birthday!

 

xoxo,

TTP + 1

Time Marches On

It’s 2019.  This blog is 8 years old.  Our dear little pear is nearly 4. Can the years please slow down, just a little??  No, father time waits for no one.  He just keeps marching on.

I mean, my goodness it’s been over a year since the last post.  So much of life has passed, that it’s now a blur and I don’t even know if I have the photographs to retroactively document it, much less the time to write it all down.  The little pear will be grown before the next post if I don’t get my act together.

Our Vermont adventure was over like a flash of lightening.  Now just a memory that has gone the way of our Oregon, and Washington, DC adventure that came before.  If only this blog could have documented all those moments.  Our Instagram has taken up the slack where the blog fell short.  And so, time marches on…

So here we are on to the next adventure… cue the Golden State to make its entrance.  We’ve settled in nicely to the North Bay Area/Wine Country region in Sonoma, County.  More specifically, the farming community of Petaluma, California , which during the early 20th century was once famously known as the “Egg Basket of the World.”

The countryside is very much like something out of my dreams.  Rolling green hills with sheep, cows and an occasional large manor house perfectly perched atop it all.  But mostly cows.  Lots and lots of sometimes very stinky cows.   And when there aren’t cows there are vineyards.  Rolling right along in rows of parallel lines.  Hopefully, there will be many more posts to document this layover in life, but as we know, time marches on.  So, we shall see…

I part with snippets of the last year in no particular order.

xoxo,

TTP

 

Cochise Stronghold where my Dad’s spirit/ashes took flight.

 

White Sands New Mexico.  Our new happy place.

 

Our new addition. The Traveling Pear Rpod…Many experiences are in store with this baby! 

 

Somehow we managed to do New York City

 

Little Pear.  Look how she’s grown.

 

Merry Everything.  Hopefully, we’ll make another post before next Christmas. 

What’s Your Christmas Wish?

Snow falling on Christmas is said to be a Christmas wish.  Growing up in Texas, I experienced just one…in 2004.  Records show one doesn’t usually experience a white Christmas in Texas unless you found yourself alive in 1895 or 2004.  So if you’re lucky to live until your 100 or so, you could see two in a lifetime, given you don’t lose your memory and forget.  Hmm…I might actually have a chance if I keep up my good health.  ha!

Even here in New England, it may or may not happen, or so we’ve been told by the locals.  That’s not the case this year! It’s looked like Christmas outside for the past two weeks, with snow falls of well over two feet.  The evergreen trees are covered with snow, so as to look like they’ve been heavily dusted with powdered sugar.  We’ve had gray days with short periods of dotted sunshine.  When the sun’s rays find their way through the thick clouds, it’s almost blinding, as the reflection off the snow covered terrain brightens everything it touches.

 

 

 

And so we’ve been seeking out every opportunity to experience this magical time of year here in Vermont.  We found our way to Peacham in the Northeast Kingdom for a sleigh ride with Pete the horse and his owner Thomas Galinat from FoxFire Revival Farm.

We had visited Peacham in September in search of the beautiful fall foliage colors, as the village is named one of the most photographed towns in all of New England.  We however missed the fall colors but found a darling cafe that served Kolaches of all things! It was well worth the drive, as we had the Kolache queen herself with us, the Chef’s Mom.  In fact, it was actually the Chef’s mom who suggested the sleigh ride.  It’s one thing she’s always wanted to do, yet being from Texas where it only snows every 100 years, it’s been a little difficult.  We hope to make her wish come true while we’re living here.

Which leads me to this year’s Christmas wish.  Now that we’ve been granted the magical white Christmas, what could one possible wish for?  I could name countless things I’d like to wish for this Christmas, but just one thing comes to mind.  FAMILY.  I wish for FAMILY.  We always seem to find ourselves so distanced from them.  It’s the holidays that bring out that longing for Christmases past, where the only distance you had to go was a few miles to the grandparent’s house.  Possibly one day, hopefully more frequent than a Texas snow, we get that Christmas wish granted.   What’s your Christmas wish this year?

 

Merry Christmas, Happily Holidays

xoxo,

TTP

Falling into Vermont

I’m just going to pretend it hasn’t been ten months since I last posted and jump right in….

 

We’re loving our new home in Vermont!

It was only recently, that I learned a little tidbit about the state we now call home.  Vermont is known as the green mountain state (that was known), and was first claimed by explorer Samuel de Champlain for France in 1609.  It’s name is derived from the French words, vert for green and mont for mountain.  Though the mountains I see off in the distance from my porch take on more blueish/purple hue.  Guess it depends on the time of day.

Vermont’s maple syrup production is the highest in the US.  As a consequence of being surrounded by maple syrup, our consumption is the highest its ever been too.  Instead of sugar, its maple syrup.  Maple syrup in our coffee or tea, on toast, on bacon in kolaches.  Just eating by the spoonfuls…Every. Day.   We’re eager to tap our grand maple when the time comes.

Autumn arrived rather late, or so it seemed to us.  The leaves weren’t really “popping” as everyone had said they would around the end of September.  That, and the temperatures reached near 90F for a few days!   The Chef’s Mama had come from Texas to see the spectacle and was left rather disappointed.  It wasn’t until we had a few frosty mornings that the trees finally decided to put on a show.  This came literally hours after the Chef’s mother’s plane took off bound for Texas.  Within a day after she left, we began to see the most brilliant display of red, orange and yellow trees.  I took a walk one day down our dirt road to see what I could capture with my lens.

These were taken just a few days ago, yet the leaves have already turned even more vivid colors since then.  I feel as though I can’t get out there enough! Just simply overnight they transform.

 

And a little recap of summer:

Strawberry picking at Hartshorn Organic Farm.  Little Pear was over the moon with all the strawberries.  Handfuls over handfuls into her mouth.  So much so, that her fingers and face were covered with their sweet red juice.   We’ve also had many raspberry and blueberry picking trips up to our neighbor’s garden that was documented via Instagram.

Hopefully it’s not spring before I post again, but just in case it is….I leave you with these photos of our late spring blooming wildflowers.

xoxo,

TTP

 

Sixth Blog Birthday

January 1st marked the 6th blog birthday for The Traveling Pear.  A day that came and went like most days as of late.  Our days are filled with just living life with our little pear, and occasional roadtrips.

In June we took a trip to Eastern Oregon and crisscrossed the old wagon ruts of the famous Oregon Trail.

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John Day River valley, eastern Oregon

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Mount Hood

Our most unique two nights of the trip were spent in the bunkhouse of the Triple H Homestead in the middle of NOWHERE eastern Oregon.  We had no cell phone coverage, television or even a radio for three days, and it was amazing! We dined on farm raised beef, pork, and fresh fruits and veggies.  Even had fresh milk, cheese and butter from the farm to fill our bellies every morning.  Rose and Darrell, who operate the homestead, were the most gracious and accommodating hosts.  Ella even had her first encounter with a pig!

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Triple H Homestead

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We ventured to the Painted Hills and marveled at the colorful landscapes of mint green, burnt orange, yellows and red.

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On route back home we found the most brilliant blue natural pool along the McKenzie River known as the Tamolitch Blue Pool.  A four mile round trip hike along the McKenzie River Trail leads to a point where the river flows up from underground, through a lava flow and forms this incredibly gorgeous, but very frigid crystal pool.

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Tamolitch Pool along the McKenzie River

Our vacation ended with a stay in an RV on the outskirts of Bend, Oregon.  Our view of the Three Sisters Mountains was beautiful.

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In the fall we returned to our first Pacific Northwest love, the island of San Juan, Washington.  No orca were to be found this trip, as they were forging for food elsewhere, but we encountered many other island creatures, like this Barred owl I spotted from the car window!

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And this Humpback along with it’s baby.  Just as exciting as seeing an orca! No, I didn’t spot this duo from the car window too, but from the comforts of Captain Jim’s whale watching boat!

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San Juan island is such a magical place.  Just being there feels as though you’ve left the real world behind.  It’s one of our happy places, or mine at least, and made even better when the Southern Resident orcas are present. Until next time…

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And now we wait for spring to turn into summer, for once more we’ll be on the move back east.   To the quaint Vermont capital of Montpelier!  The Chef was selected by the Coast Guard to return yet again to culinary school.  This time he’ll be in pursuit of a Bachelors degree in Culinary Arts from the New England Culinary Institute. He’ll be specializing in baking and pastry.

So in six years time, we’ve basically come full circle.  How about that.

2011>Culinary School>Paris>2012Maine>2013Texas>2014DC>2015Oregon>2017 Vermont Culinary School.

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